The Strauss twins (Nadine and Teresa) have now won both matches over the North Americans as the 23-year Austrians posted a 2-1 (12-21, 21-19, 15-10) Pool C win over the 21-year-old McNamaras (Megan and Nicole) on Thursday.
During the first week of March in Visakhapatnam, India, the Strauss sisters won the first ever meeting of twins by posting a 2-0 (21-13, 18-15, retired) Pool C win in 30 minutes over then 17-year-old Nourse twins (Audrey and Nicole) of the United States.
“We’re very happy and even a little bit surprised because we didn’t expect to start the tournament so well,” said Teresa Strauss. “They made some mistakes in the first set and we took advantage of them, but in the second they came back stronger and we struggled a little bit. We came into the third thinking that we had nothing to lose since we started in qualification and we just wanted to have fun, and it worked.”
Teresa (left) and Nadine Strauss of Austria
Nadine added: “It’s funny to know how our opponents feel when they play against us. It requires us a lot more concentration than a normal match because we must pay attention to their numbers and little details all the time. With the McNamaras it’s even tougher because one is right-handed and the other is left-handed and if we don’t get it right it can become a real problem for our blocking and our defense.”
With the win, the 30th-seeded Strauss sisters play 19th-seeded Jagoda Gruszczynska/Aleksandra Wachowicz of Poland for the Pool C title and a first-round bye into the second round of Friday’s elimination bracket. Both teams had to win qualifying matches Wednesday to advance to Thursday’s main draw.
The third-seeded McNamaras, who led UCLA to two straight American collegiate titles the past two seasons, meet 14th-seeded Martina Bonnerova/Martina Maixnerova of the Czech Republic Friday with the winning team advancing to the first round of elimination play and the losing pair placing 25th in the inaugural Edmonton Open.
Nicole (left) and Megan McNamara of Canada
The McNamara vs. Strauss confrontation was one of 16 pool play matches for women on Thursday with the winning teams playing for group titles Friday and a first-round bye when elimination bracket competition begins later in the day at Northlands Park where the 140th K-Day celebrations is being held.
Newly crowned FIVB world champions and top-seeded Melissa Humana-Paredes and Sarah Pavan of Canada also posted an opening group victory Thursday with a 2-0 (2-19, 21-13) Pool A win in 33 minutes over Kim Huber/Melina Hubscher of Switzerland.
Melissa Humana-Paredes (left) and Sarah Pavan of Canada
With the win, Humana-Paredes and Pavan meet 16th-seeded Kim DiCello/Kelly Reeves of the United States for the top-spot in Pool A and the first-round bye when the elimination rounds start.
The Edmonton Open, which features men's competition, concludes Sunday on the Northlands centre court where the winning teams share the $10,000 first-place prizes along with each winning pair securing 600 Olympic qualifying points for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.